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Meet Mrs. Ella

I have a new friend named Mrs. Ella and I just cant seem to stop thinking about her. She hasn’t done anything drastically important or so profound, however she has wiggled into my long term memory and I have since become astonished by her.

Mrs. Ella is in her 80’s and you can tell it! Her bones are brittle, her skin hard and cracked, her hair cropped into little spindles as she tries to slick it down but they always look like they get away from her. Mrs. Ella uses a walker, not one of those old school ones with the tennis balls on the front (I never understood why they do that…), its flashy red, has wheels, and a little built in seat incase she needs to sit down; which is something she must do often.  I don’t know why Mrs. Ella can’t speak clearly. I study her every word as she seems to choke on every syllable. She speaks with a little wobble of her head and you have to pay pain staking attention to catch it.  

The first time I met Mrs. Ella it was after a ministry leadership meeting. I remember thinking to myself that she seemed too old to be there. The meeting was in the middle of the day, it was a meticulous training to go over strategic development. I am ashamed to say but it was the type of meeting you wouldn’t assume a lady like Mrs. Ella would be in. She just didn’t seem to fit. 

We all left the meeting in a scurry to get along to the next point of business on a rainy day. I pushed pass the polite conversation and burst through the doors while throwing up my umbrella to run along. I caught a glimpse of Mrs. Ella. She was propped up outside halfway under an awning still getting a little wet by the rain. She was seated in her fancy walker as if she had no where to go. 

I knew I should stop and ask if she was getting along ok. I reluctantly slowed down my hyper drive to check on this strange women in this strange scene. To my surprise Mrs. Ella was waiting on the bus! I could barely understand her so I had to ask twice! 80 something year old Mrs. Ella who could barely speak and barely walk, was out in the middle of the day, at a ministry meeting in the rain! And to top it all off…. SHE RODE THE BUS! This is particularly astounding to me because I haven’t had to use public transportation in the last 10 years. 

I can’t get Mrs. Ella out of my head. What excuses have I let get in the way, what business, what other nonsense things…Stopping me from serving God…and yet Mrs. Ella…

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My First Year of Marriage (My Turn for 10 things)

usA candle lit dinner, the scent of rose petals, filet mignon… These are all things that one should think of when they celebrate their wedding anniversary right?

Well, my husband and I celebrated one year of marriage a couple of months ago. Instead of the typical wine and dinning we went to a gun range with smiles on our faces. My husband picked up a couple of shells to give me as a reminder of our special day; I still have them and look at them often. (No this is not a joke, we really did this, also we are not part of a crazy gun militia we just like the sport) That night we got all fancy and I put on heels for the first time after the pregnancy. I proceeded to teeter totter the rest of the night at our local salsa club, we danced the night away to a live band jamming Tito Puente!

You see, we are not a normal couple, so a normal celebration just wouldn’t do… That’s the first lesson I learned in my first year of marriage!

1. Know thyself and allow room to be you!

You should have seen the looks we got when I told my colleagues that we were headed to the gun range; but it meant a lot to us. We are on a strict budget, as many are in their first year, and for just one day we decided to do the fun things we had been putting off. I thought about reserving a table for two at a nice bistro but the truth is, that seemed a bit boring to us. Over the year I have learned to love My Marriage. It is unlike any one else’s and we enjoy different things. It’s much easier to just be you instead of trying to fit into a mold.

2. Men have an inherent finding deficiency. 

I am not sure what was left out of men that inhibits them from finding even ordinary things. His wallet, His socks, His glasses, His phone, pots and pans, you name it! He calls on me to activate my womanly super power locator and… boom just like that it appears in the last place he left it… I tease, finding things for my husband and making sure he starts his day off well makes me feel needed and helpful. He keeps my head on my shoulders in other areas of my life so it is a fair trade.

3. Sex makes babies!

Did I mention my little 5 month old Jude? Well our special little guy was born 9 months and 3 days after our wedding date! And NO there was no flubbing the conception date, my husband and I waited. You learn in school that sperm fertilizes egg but you don’t truly know until it happens to you. I remember talking to my dad soon after we heard the good news. I was in shock! His response to me…. What did you think would happen?! Sex makes babies so don’t forget it folks! 🙂

4. Make love well…..

Since we are on the topic of Sex. Has your mom ever called you up to talk to your about your mojo in the bed? Well mine has!  As awkward as this talk was I am grateful for her sage advice to make love well! Spice it up, do things differently and most importantly do not lay there like a lump on a log which is most women’s signature move.

5. X box can be a good thing

I have more than once attempted to found of the national wives against  X box club. We would host support groups for the millions of women who go to bed with their husband not by their side or even eat dinner while staring at the back of their mates’ head. I have a love hate relationship for My husband’s gaming, it is 60% hate and 40% love, but over the last year My husband and I have learned to work this out. I had to learn to communicate my needs and expectations about his gaming. Marriage changes things, it just does. So there are no more 24 hour marathons for him but I can’t always expect to lounge wherever I want and OD on wedding shows either. We have to make compromises and leave time for each other to do things solo.

6. Forgiving my husband is a part time job.

Before marriage I thought I was good at the whole forgiveness thing; it turns out I had never really had anything that needed to be forgiven! I lived a pretty sheltered life, I had tons of friends a great family and was well liked. The fact is people weren’t mean to me very often. But marriage is a tricky thing, the greater you love someone the more power they have to hurt you, and hurt you they will. So I have been learning that when the bible says forgive 70 X 7 thats a real thing! The amount of forgiveness the Father gives us is endless, so how much more should I be able to forgive my husband. Now this is not a one sided deed I am sure I have hurt him too… I am glad that God’s grace teaches us grace.

7. My husband thinks I am the hottest Women Alive! 

If only years of body image issues could be washed away by an adoring husband! My husband thinks Im gorgeous! I know it because he tells me often, he desires my fiercely and he is proud to have me on his arm. But yet I still don’t like everything I see when I look in the mirror. And since the baby it still looks like an all terrain vehicle rode over my mid section, so its gotten even more difficult to love the skin I’m in. But I have learned this year to accept my husband’s admiration and know that through his eyes I’m the bomb.

8. I know its old fashioned but I love to cook for and serve my husband.

In this post female liberation era, women are taught that traditional gender roles and servitude are bad. But I have found joy and comfort in these things. I love the fact that my husband can’t get enough of my cooking! I like finding new recipes he likes and making him pancakes on saturday mornings. And oftentimes I make his plates and bring it to him. I can hear the gasps now! How dare I serve my husband! Don’t get me wrong I am happy that women are breaking barriers and being empowered but there is something special about pleasing my husband this way and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

9. Celebrate even little ways you put God first.

I am in seminary and everyone seems to think that means that I have piety figured out. The truth is sometimes I go a week without reading my bible, or my prayer life takes a nose dive. My husband and I have tried about 5 different times to start a regular devotion together. We’ve tried scripture cards, phone apps, couple’s devotionals, small group material. I am embarrassed to say that we have NEVER stuck to one. However at the very beginning of the day we huddle up as a family, we put our arms around each other and ask God’s blessing for the day. We pray that we can be a light for Christ in our workplace and that God protects our home! It seems like a small thing but we celebrate it as a daily reminder that God is first in our family.

10. Have Fun Together! 

I am embarrassed to tell you some of the absolutely ridiculous things my husband and I have done together. Some, but not all include: throwing eggs off the balcony, dub step dance parties, TV marathons, climbing trees, and tickle fights.

I have a hard time truly understanding this last year of my life. Even while writing this list I have sweet memories that make me smile, and dark memories that bring up fear. As confusing as this paradox may be, I am committed to enjoy  this journey and never give up. Heres to another year with you love!

 

You can also go visit my husband’s blog and check out his list of things that he posted

http://tinyurl.com/m47vjb6

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Unexpected.

Here is a pervious blog I wrote about sudden infant death syndrome…faith and and parenting seem to be intertwined in my life how about you?

Death of Me

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

From the time of conception you will hear these words 1000 times until they are permanently engraved into your brain… Sudden Infant Death Syndrome! AKA SIDS.

SIDS is a terrible thing where infants die without cause. You will read, blogs (like mine) magazines, doctor pamphlets, galore that relay one study after another that talk about ways of reducing your chance of SIDS.  According to this array of studies you can reduce the chance of SIDS by not using crib bumpers, not using blankets, using white noise machines, co sleeping with your baby, having the baby sleep in a room with a ceiling fan, letting the baby suck on a pacifier etc, etc. It used to be common knowledge that babies were safer sleeping on their bellies now babies are safer to sleep on their back!

My mind started to drown in this long list of dos…

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